The emergence of the M1 chip in the market had an impact similar to that of very few processors. This Apple-designed chip is available in the vast majority of Macs and has even reached the iPad. And if you’re looking for a desktop Mac, you’re probably hesitating between to buy an iMac or a Mac Mini |, which share many specifications and power.
If we compare the two computers, we find virtually identical internal specifications. Same processor and same storage and RAM options. The big difference between the two is therefore on the screen.
Meanwhile, he iMac is an all-in-one computer which includes a 24-inch panel, with 4.5K resolution, a 1080p camera, a six-speaker hi-fi system and three studio-quality microphones, the Mac mini does not include screen or any other accessory. Therefore, although the price difference between the two is 650 dollars, this is something we have to assess.
Which is better an iMac M1 or a Mac mini M1?
In case you already have a good monitor, with decent speakers, a quality camera, and microphones, the clear choice is the Mac mini. However, if you have none of these, What’s worth an all-in-one iMac or Mac mini and buying a separate monitor?
Let’s calculate the price a monitor could cost for the Mac mini with specs similar to the iMac, and what the rest of the accessories we need to have would cost us to match the iMac.
24 inch 4.5K monitor
It is something fundamental in a computer, but The quality of the iMac panel is hard to find on a monitor. It’s a 24-inch Retina display with 4.5K resolution (4480 x 2520 pixels), 500 nits brightness, wide color gamut (P3) and True Tone.
Finding a panel of this quality and of this size is not easy. The only more or less similar option is LG’s 24-inch 4K UltraFine resolution monitor, priced at 795 dollars.
Another similar option, but with 27 inch screen size, is the BenQ PD2700U processor. 4K resolution and a little less brightness than the iMac, but it’s an interesting solution, its price is 499 dollars.
The iMac includes a six hi-fi speakers with force-canceling woofers, wide stereo sound and spatial audio support when playing video with Dolby Atmos. The Mac mini and the BenQ monitor above have speakers, but they can’t be compared.
Finding a similar speaker system isn’t easy, it’s practically impossible. We therefore chose a mid-range speaker, the Logitech Z200 which costs around 30 dollars.
1080p camera and microphone
Apple has finally updated the iMac camera and now offers a 1080p resolution. In this case, almost any modern webcam will be up to the task. We picked this one from AUKEY which also includes microphones, they won’t be studio grade like the iMac, but they might be enough. Its price is 40 dollars.
Keyboard and mouse
Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse are included in the price of the iMac. The price of these two accessories if you want to buy them is around 170 dollars. The Magic Keyboard costs 90 dollars and the Magic Mouse around 80.
iMac from Mac mini
As we commented, the price of iMac from 1449 dollars, but we’ve got it all in one design. However, to get something similar with the Mac mini, we’ll have to spend 799 dollars from where it leaves, plus about 740 dollars in accessories such as a monitor, speakers or a webcam.
I mean, at the end the price of the Mac mini and all the accessories will be around 1,539 dollars. Slightly above the price of the iMac, and with clearly inferior features.
In the end, the prices of an iMac and a Mac mini are very close in case the Mac mini needs to be supplemented with a good monitor and other accessories. If this is your case, It’s much simpler, and design-wise it will look a lot better, an iMac than a Mac mini.. However, if you already have a good monitor and speakers, the Mac mini may be a better fit for you.